New Research Suggests That There Is a Particular Color That Mosquitoes Are More Attracted To

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Mosquitos can make a wonderful summer day perfectly miserable. Say you’re at a backyard BBQ, a kids’ birthday party, a swimming pool, hiking, or watching your kids play outside. Then, all of a sudden you feel it. A pinch. An itch. The impossible to ignore urge to scratch your skin. A mosquito bite. If you’re particularly allergic to mosquito bites, it might swell up and cause a lot of discomfort. You also might find multiple mosquito bites that end up causing you to flee to the closest indoor area where you can get away from the biting pests.

There are multiple ways to try to avoid getting bitten by mosquitos. You can wear long sleeves and pants. You can spray your skin with mosquito spray. You can make sure there isn’t any standing water in your backyard, and dump the water out of things like bird baths every week.

Now, a new study is giving us another interesting idea about how to prevent mosquitos from being attracted to us. Perhaps we can get them to leave us alone by avoiding wearing certain colors.

According to the study, which was published in the journal “Nature Communications,” mosquitos are most attracted to the colors red, orange, black and cyan. They aren’t attracted to lighter colors including blue, green and purple. Researchers discovered this by putting mosquitos in test chambers with a colored dot. No matter what color the dot was, the mosquitos ignored, but when researchers sprayed carbon dioxide in the chamber, the mosquitos were attracted to certain colors and ignored others.

Mosquitos find and bite us because they’re attracted to the carbon dioxide they smell from our breath. Researchers believe they may also be attracted to the color red because that’s the color they see when they see human skin. According to Nancy Troyano, Ph.D., a board-certified entomologist and Director of Operations Education and Training with Ehrlich Pest Control, “When light interacts with human skin, regardless of skin pigmentation, it reflects a reddish color.”

As for why mosquitos seem more attracted to orange, black and cyan, researchers speculate that these colors might remind them of shadows. According to Timothy Best, a board-certified entomologist and technical manager at Terminix, “Light colors are perceived as a threat to mosquitoes, which is why many species avoid biting in direct sunlight.”

There’s no guarantee that a mosquito will bite you if you wear black but leave you alone if you wear purple, but it couldn’t hurt. If you have the choice between multiple clothing colors when you are going to be somewhere that most likely has a lot of mosquitos, perhaps try choosing clothing that is a light color instead of a dark color.

Are you allergic to mosquito bites? What do you usually do to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes? Are you going to try wearing light colored clothing?